VENERABLE timber company James Donaldson & Sons has underlined its growth ambitions after achieving strong increases in sales and profits in spite of the uncertainty around Brexit.

The latest accounts for the family-owned firm show it made £8.2 million profit before tax in the latest financial year compared with £7.7m in the preceding period.

The family-owned group grew turnover to £182m from £153.6m.

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Formed as a small timber merchant in Tayport in 1860, James Donaldson & Sons has expanded to offer associated services such as the manufacture of structural components used in buildings and has operations across the UK.

It acquired the Cambridge Roof Truss business in October last year for an undisclosed sum.

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Writing in the accounts, directors indicated that further acquisitions could follow.

“At the year end (March 31) group gearing was nil and this will allow us to take advantage of all opportunities which may arise in the year ahead as well look to further grow our market share,” they wrote.

The growth in profits was achieved amid challenging conditions for UK timber merchants. The fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote in 2016 has pushed up the price of imported materials.

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Directors said raw material prices had hit unprecedented highs.

Regarding Brexit, they noted: “Continued uncertainty and the potential stifling effect this may have on investment in the UK and labour availability, in particular within the construction trade, risks future growth in our sector.

“The Directors are monitoring this situation closely, however the Group remains agile and positive about the future.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to put a one-year limit on trade talks with the European Union reignited fears of a no-deal Brexit and saw the pound give up gains it made after the result of this month’s general election was announced.

James Donaldson & Sons won the top prize at The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards for 2019.